By Tim Carthon (Blog #44: Business, Economics, Finance)
Ever heard a radio show or saw a video of the show called The Breakfast Club?
Its three hosts, DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and “Charlemange Tha god,” are, at the least, what is called ‘hood famous;‘ where virtually the entire community from which you come, and to which you are tied all around the nation, knows who you are.
Their show is a highly-regarded broadcast, especially among African-American listeners/viewers. And, as usual, with every broadcast of this sort and magnitude, there is usually one person considered controversial.
This guy can really get under a person’s skin in the most nonchalant, dismissive manner. Unfortunately, that’s one of the reasons for the success of the show. However…
…that definitely does not discount the wonderful, candid, in-depth interviews of celebrities (mostly from minority communities) that they have on this amazing broadcast. These three break celebrity community news often, and I commend them greatly for that program substance. However…
…this article is not about them.
ENLIGHTENMENT UNDER SIEGE
A few months ago, I watched a video of an interview the Breakfast Club had with Grammy® award-winning rapper, producer, and fashion connoisseur Kanye West. Kanye was talking about his frustrations with attempting to not just break into the upper-echelon of the fashion industry, but what he felt was, in essence, the monetary theft and exploitation by gargantuan corporations of celebrities whose names they license for branding and profit purposes.
It was all stemming from what had been happening to him realization-wise in the industry and overall in business when it comes to an African-American, and now it was exacerbated by how Charlemange just wasn’t getting what he was trying to explain.
I could see the fire in Kanye’s eyes and hear the enlightenment, passion, and frustration in his voice. I could also see a certain look on Kanye’s face; the point when Kanye realized that Charlemange wasn’t going to understand and decided to stop attempting to explain.
I know that look.
I’ve gotten to that point a few times before I finally decided not to waste my time anymore even attempting it with adults who aren’t family members or who aren’t in front of me at one of my seminars or workshops.
By the end of the show, Charlemange seemed to pretty much be telling Kanye to shut up and get back to making the music that made us fall in love with his talent.
TRANSLATION: “Get back to doing what makes us feel comfortable.”
Kanye, I understand completely and feel your frustration, Bruh. I really, really do.
Fast-forward to today.
I was watching a video of award-winning comedian Kevin Hart on VladTV speaking on the greatness of legendary comedian Dave Chappelle. When the video was complete, a link for another and a snippet of it popped up. It was Charlemange talking about the interview with Kanye on the Breakfast Club, and, as an entrepreneur who knows exactly what Kanye West was trying to convey during his interview, what Charlemange said was rather disturbing to me.
Charlemange said that he “didn’t get it” about what Kanye West was saying and “Don’t be a fake revolutionary for profit.”
*Sigh. Oh Charlemange. Poor, poor Charlemange. I know you don’t get it.
EMPATHY FOR THE ENTREPRENEURIALLY-UNENLIGHTENED
Honestly, I felt bad for Kanye trying to explain this to Charlemange because he seems to be an employee-minded individual and was going to more-than-likely have a very hard time understanding Kanye’s revolutionary, employer-mindset from the start.
How Kanye West felt on the Breakfast Club is the prime reason I don’t talk to adults much anymore about entrepreneurship unless it’s in my E2 Seminar or SBI Workshop™. It’s extremely difficult for individuals stuck in a 9am-5pm-job ’employee’ mindset to understand the thinking of individuals like myself and Kanye West.
So, as a public service, here is what Kanye was saying in the simplest form I can put it for the masses and Charlemange to understand. In the words of one of the great comedian and businessman Kevin Hart’s comedy tour names…
LET ME EXPLAIN:
• Cleveland Cavaliers® small forward and all-time leading scorer Lebron James now makes over $30M per year playing basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers®.
• Millions of African-Americans are walking around with his jersey on.
• People are paying for tickets to see him play.
• His face is on the side of the arena (I think).
• Lebron’s face is on almost all of the Cavs’ (and a ton of the NBA’s) advertisements.
Everybody wants to be him.
NOW ASK YOURSELF:
• Who has so much money to where they can pay Lebron over $30M per year?
• Who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers®?
• Who makes the jerseys with his likeness on it?
• Who gets the bulk of the ticket money you pay to see Lebron?
• Who owns the arena Lebron’s face is on?
• Who pays for the advertisement which features Lebron?
I know who, yet almost no average working-class citizen even talks about him.
You see the cognitive dissonance there?
It’s perception, and perception in this realm is what a lot of times breeds poverty.
ENLIGHTENING OUR YOUTH
I was talking to my great-nephew yesterday and he said that rapper and singer and Drake, the Canadian phenom, had more money than music industry trailblazer and business mogul Sean Combs, more commonly referred to as “Puffy” or “P-Diddy”:
“Do you know how much money Puffy has?” I asked him, in a manner that suggested that his statement was way off factual base.
Although he’s only 11 years of age, his response was that of the typical adult nowadays…opinion-through–perception-only:
“But Drake has a lot of money, too.“
I asked him again:
“Do you know how much money Puffy has?”
“No,” he finally replied.
“Drake has $60M. Puffy has $750M, more than 12xs the wealth of Drake.“
The look on his face was priceless.
I explained to him how most of the time the people with the most money are not the people who you see in the limelight like Drake. I explained to him how Puffy makes his money from several business ventures, including his Sean Jean clothing line, his array of perfumes and colognes, and his Ciroc ‘inebriation source’ drink.
You see, Charlemange, the only non-spiritual way to true revolution for our people is financial power through ownership and product distribution control. This means that he (Kanye) needs to make a certain amount of profit in order to get to that true revolution.
I understand that.
Puffy understands that.
And now, even my 11-year-old nephew is beginning to understand that.
The question is, Charlemange: Why don’t you?
WHICH PILL? YOUR MATRIX MOMENT
I applaud your accomplishments, my brother, I truly do. However, you need to look beyond the word “profit” or “money” to see what you currently can’t seem to see. Maybe the fact that you can’t see or understand what Kanye was trying to tell you has to do with your impatience, lack of true intellectual curiosity, just your general butthole-ishness, or something else in you, Charlemange.
So, Charlemange, my good man, let me put it into an easier set of terms for you to understand:
You are looking at the surface and it’s scenery above instead of looking at the thing below that is holding up the surface and allowing the surface to create the scenery. You love how fruit looks and tastes, but you cannot seem to think past it to the true power behind the fruit’s looks and tastes and how the fruit is completely controlled by that power.
TRANSLATION: Water and soil. That is the power. Water and soil. That is the key, not the glamorous, shiny fruit.
Kanye finally was hit with that reality, realized and grasped the depth and understanding of that, and that is what has sparked his all-important adjustment toward, as you so eloquently and dismissively put it, the “…revolutionary for profit” in him. And, with a platform as large and heavily listened to and viewed as yours, now it’s your turn.
So take the red pill and become that which you do not currently understand, yet with which you simultaneously disagree.
Become the revolutionary…for profit.
Contact Tim Carthon
Advocate, Speaker, Author, Educator